Wednesday, June 8, 2016

One Word Best Describes tihe Current Demand for Area Real Estate

  One word best describes the ongoing demand for area real estate "insatiable!"  MLS® sales in May as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) totalled 314 properties, an increase of 31% over May 2015 sales.  MLS® dollar sales for the month broke the $100 million barrier coming in at $114.2 million, an increase of 45% over May last year when $78.8 million in properties were sold.

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales for the first five months of 2016 now total 1,073 properties, an increase of 23% over last year.  MLS® dollar volume for the year now stands at $389.4 million, 32% higher than the same time last year.  To put things into perspective, in 2008 when we were embroiled in the  recession, total MLS® dollar volume for the entire year totalled $489.2 million now with just 5 months under our belts in 2016 we are already 80% to where total sales were for the entire year in 2008.

  As is the case with most major real estate markets across Canada, inventory of listed properties for sale is down from one year ago although the situation here locally is starting to improve. New MLS® listings in May totalled 534 properties which is just 3% below the 550 new listings that came to market in May of last year.  Year-to-date MLS® listing however are 8% below 2015 levels with 1,910 new MLS® listings reported this year compared to 2,072 last year.

  The growth in area condominium sales are outpacing the sales of single family homes.  Through the end of May condo sales are up 27% from last year with 217 MLS® sales year-to-date.  MLS® single family home sales totalling 714 properties reflects a 20% over the 594 home sold in the first five months of 2015.  After two or three slow years, we have seen a very strong resurgence in vacant land sales. Year-to-date there have been 105 vacant lot sales compared to 70 last year, an increase of 50%.  Clearly the shortage of finished homes listed for sale has helped to drive the sale of vacant lots with buyers electing to build in a market where there clearly a shortage of homes to choose from.

 Not all areas of our market are performing equally as well in this bullish market. Clearview Township leads all area municipalities in terms of the largest increase in single family home sales year-over-year with 92 sales through the end of May marking a 77% increase over 2015.  Sales in Stayner have been very strong this year in part due to the affordable nature of homes in that community.  I recently submitted an offer on behalf of clients for a Stayner home that was a power of sale.  There were eight offers and the property sold for well over the $199,000 asking price.  Single family home sales in Wasaga Beach are up 35% this year with 280 MLS sales reported. Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a modest 13% through the end of May while sales in the Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands are down 12% and 19% respectively.  Lastly single family home sales are also down from last year in the Blue Mountains with 73 sales reflecting a 6% decrease from one year ago.

  As we head into the second half of the year, the only apparent threat to the robust sales activity we are experiencing is the insufficient supply of properties on the market.  For those looking to sell, the timing right now could never be better to maximize the equity in your property.  At the same time, if you then need to turn around an purchase something else, you may run into stiff competition and multiple offers, forcing you to pay full list price or above for a property of your desires.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Area MLS® Real Estate Sales Approach $100 Million in April

The demand for area real estate shows no sign of abating and even the cooler, wet spring weather can't seem to quench the appetite for properties across Southern Georgian Bay with April posting a 35% increase in MLS® sales in April as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS (SGBAR) nudging up towards $100 million.  Sales in April were $99.8 million for the month which represents a 40% increase in dollar sales over April of last year.  Year-to-date MLS® sales of $252.2 million for the first four months of 2016 is a 27% increase year over year while MLS® unit sales are up 21%.
  Not all market areas in our region are reflecting the same level of demand however.  Single family home sales in Clearview are up 108% over the same time last year with 73 MLS® sales reported this year compared to 35 in the first four months of 2015.  Wasaga Beach is also seeing a strong demand for single family homes with year-to-date sales of 199 homes representing a 40% increase over last year.  Sales of single family homes in Collingwood are up a modest 12% this year with 96 homes sold versus 86 last year.  All other municipalities are showing decreases in MLS® single family home sales for the first four months of 2016.  The Blue Mountains -10%, Municipality of Meaford - 11% and Grey Highlands is down 35%.  

  Some of the above mentioned sales decreases are stemming at least in part from an absence of inventory.  Year-to-date MLS® listings in our market are down 9% with 1,378 new MLS® listings reported to date compared to 1,522 in the first four months of 2015.  In over 15 years of selling area real estate I have never seen market conditions like the ones we are experiencing right now.  Given the shortage of properties listed for sale, multiple offers, a trait very common in the Greater Toronto Area have become quite commonplace in our market with properties selling for their full list price or more. Since the spring of 2014 we have steadily moved from a Buyer's to a Seller's market with 1 out of every 1.8 properties listed for sale selling.  In contrast, two years ago at this time only one out of every 3.5 properties listed for sale sold. 

  Overall single family home sales are up 19% with 582 MLS® sales reported to the end of April.  Area condominium sales are also very bullish up 17% with 158 sales year-to-date compared to 135 in 2015,  As with single family homes, some area condominiums have been selling in a matter of days versus weeks again with strong prices being paid,  Sales are the strongest in the $350,000 to $499,999 and $500,000 to $799,999 price ranges up 30% and 39% respectively.  Residential sales year-to-date over $1 million total 17 properties, an increase of 41% from last year when 12 sales over $1 million were reported.
  After a couple of soft years, MLS® vacant land sales continue to show a resurgence driven at least in part by the absence of available existing home inventory listed for sale.  April year-to-date sales of 85 vacant lots is a 77% increase over the 48 MLS® vacant land sales reported in the first four months of 2015.

  It would appear the only real threat to the continuation of record sales across our region is a shortage of inventory especially in the low to mid price ranges, $200,000 to $500,000.  Now that better weather has arrived, we may see an update in the number of new MLS® listings coming to market but I suspect inventory will still be an issue in the month's ahead meaning we will no doubt remain in a strong seller's market.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Area Real Estate Sales Up 44% in February

The momentum we experienced in the local real estate market in 2015 has carried over into 2016 with year-to-date area real estate sales to the end of February posting a significant gain over the first two months of last year.

  Unit MLS® sales as reported by the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® for the first two months of 2016 are up 26% with 288 sales made compared to 229 last year.  MLS® dollar volume is up even higher reflecting a 30% increase with $106 million in properties sold year-to-date.  Whiles sales in January were equal to the prior year.  MLS® unit and dollar sales in February were up a healthy 44% and 55% respectively.  It is worth noting that due to the severity of last winter, sales during the first two months of 2015 were depressed due to bad weather and driving conditions making property showings difficult and on some occasions the ability to get here from outside the area all but impossible. The weather this winter has been the polar opposite thus helping to better facilitate real estate showings thus stimulating sales activity.   

  As we have mentioned previously, with a healthy economy, low interest rates and positive consumer confidence, the only significant threat to area real estate sales is the apparent lack of inventory.  Despite a 15% increase in MLS® unit sales during 2015, the number of new MLS® listings that came to market in 2015 was down 15%.  This same trend has carried over into 2016 with new MLS® listing activity down 14% for the first two months of the year.  For sellers, there has never been a better time to list their homes for sale.  While less frequent than a few months ago, multiple offers are still prevalent especially in the high demand lower price ranges.  Overall, strong prices at all levels of the market are being paid for properties that are well priced and present themselves favourably.  

  Year-to-date MLS® sales are particular strong in the $200,000 to $500,000 price ranges.  MLS® unit sales between $200,000 and $350,000 are up 42% through the end of February with 128 properties sold, sales of 61 properties in the $350,000 to $500,000 ranges also reflects a 42% increase over the first two months of last year.   Sales of properties in the upper end price ranges continue to remain very robust especially in the $800,000 to $1 million range with year-to-date sales of 7 properties compared top just 3 in the same time period last year.  Sales over $1 million are slightly ahead of 2015 with 8 MLS® sales reported compared to 7 during the first two months of 2015.

  Year-to-date MLS® single family home sales are up 15% to the end of February, condominium sales are running slightly ahead of last year up 3% while vacant land sales have risen have 56%.  Vacant land sales during the past year have turned around significantly no doubt due in part to the lack of available housing inventory listed for sale.

  In terms of MLS® listed residential single family home sales, not all area municipalities are experiencing the same degree of demand.  Clearview Township is experiencing a very strong demand with year-to-date sales of 19 homes reflecting a 137% increase over last year.  Sales in Wasaga Beach are up 70% while Collingwood has posted a 14% increase.  Year-to-date, MLS® single family home sales in all other area municipalities are below where they were at this time last year.  Municipality of Meaford sales are down 64%, Grey Highlands sales are down 50% and sales in the Blue Mountains are down 29% from one year ago.

  With spring fast approaching, we will see the typical seasonal upturn in MLS® listing activity.  Many sellers firmly believe their property show more favourable in the better weather and rightly so.  Hopefully the coming months will see a closer relationship of new listings to sales as the lack of properties listed for sale is the only real threat we currently see that could derail the current insatiable demand for southern Georgian Bay area real estate. 

Contact Me

Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


My Profile

Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.